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Between the Dots

The Clonious

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Album Review

The Clonious, aka Paul Movahedi, the 23-year-old Viennese graduate of the Red Bull Music Academy, makes music that sounds like what J Dilla or Madlib would do if either had studied jazz composition in college. That is to say, while both the aforementioned producers' work takes liberal helpings from old jazz LPs, they also both come from a clear hip-hop background, as evidenced by the many, many MCs who have rhymed over their beats. Rappers looking to lay down bars over the Clonious' production, however, would have a difficult time. As with many avant-garde jazz musicians, his sense of time and rhythm don't fall into the more standard, usual categories. He has an acute, and very complex, sense of structure and composition, manifested in songs like "Bugs n' Fools," which weaves together myriad keyboard parts and sections with a drum pattern that begins with the accent on the second beat and ends with it falling on the (suddenly much quicker) one and three, and "If Joe Had the Power," which sounds a bit as if Bob James and Prince's New Power Generation sat down in the studio together for a couple of hours and let the other have it. Movahedi does tone it down, a little, for "Lovelights," which features fellow neo-jazz travelers Dudley Perkins (on none other than rhymes) and the seldom-heard-contained Georgia Anne Muldrow, and which, when the eighth notes of the hook collide with Perkins' syllables, comes off a bit like a Deltron 3030 outtake (meant in the best possible way). What keeps Between the Dots from feeling too derivative, and from dragging, is that Movahedi breaks up his intergalactic wanderings with nearly straight-ahead post-bop compositions (e.g., "Agenda"), which not only show off his versatility and talent but also serve to give listeners a bit of time to catch their breaths, reflect on what they just heard, and continue on.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Viennese guitarist, sampler, and producer Paul Movahedi was involved with a variety of post-rock, jazz, and funk-influenced projects before he attended the Red Bull Academy in Toronto in 2007, a preeminent annual event for cutting-edge musicians and artists. He began to get more heavily into producing, and in 2009, a song of his, "Valediction," made it onto the compilation Circulations and Jay Scarlett Present New Worlds. He soon got the attention of Los-Angeles-based left coast soul and electronica...
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Between the Dots, The Clonious
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